roosevelt arch

Vandal Jailed After Carving Initials Into Roosevelt Arch

A Texas resident has been jailed for vandalizing the Roosevelt Arch outside of Gardiner, Montana.

According to a Yellowstone press release, Dakota D. Tipton, 26, of Joshua, was sentenced to three days jail time for carving his initials into the Roosevelt Arch. U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Carman also ordered Tipton to pay $250 in restitution fees and $40 in court fees.

Mr. Tipton etched his initials on a stone in one of the small doorways in the Arch. You can see a photo of his handiwork below, courtesy of the Park.

graffitti roosevelt arch 2016

From a Yellowstone press release:

On June 10, 2016, park dispatch was notified by a visitor that Mr. Tipton was carving his initials into a keystone above a small walkway arch adjacent to Arch Park. When contacted by law enforcement, Mr. Tipton admitted to using a multi-tool to carve into the arch, calling it “a bad decision.”

Mr. Tipton was issued a mandatory appearance citation for vandalism and appeared before the court at the Justice Center in Mammoth Hot Springs by phone Tuesday, July 26. He will likely serve his jail sentence near his home in Texas. This location is determined by the U.S. Marshal Service and/or the Bureau of Prisons.


It is difficult to measure the actual cultural resource loss that Mr. Tipton’s actions cost the park. The sentence passed down by the judge reflects the egregious nature of such an action.

Yellowstone National Park Deputy Superintendent Steve Iobst lamented Mr. Tipton’s actions, saying, “Let this unfortunate act be a reminder to all that the cultural treasures of Yellowstone National Park require our care and protection to ensure that generations to come will enjoy their presence on the landscape.”

The Roosevelt Arch is, of course, one of the most noteworthy and celebrated landmarks in and around Yellowstone National Park. Built in 1903, it was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt, who laid the cornerstone April 24, 1903. The Roosevelt Arch is a National Historic Landmark, and is included in the Fort Yellowstone National Historic Landmark District.

About Sean Reichard

Sean Reichard is the editor of Yellowstone Insider and author of Yellowstone Insider For Families 2017.

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